Wednesday, 30 November 2011

The Gardens of Delargo Towers - November

It looks likely that this will be the warmest November on record, Which is fine by me.
My "better half" has been busy tiding the boxes while I attacked our triffid like Nasturtiums.

I rather like the new single colour theme for the front boxes. It makes a lovely contrast to the exuberance of the Jewel garden theme we had during the summer. It is a fab pink.

The long border is replanted with biannuals for next spring

A rather confused couple of dafs have popped there heads up to see the end of 2011 rather than to see in 2012

We have only a handful of violas but they should give us a least a little colour in darkest months to come

The pear tree has settled it self down for the winter.

as is the rest of the garden.

Two garden sacks of nasturtiums have been removed, mainly from the patio.
We have kept a few climbing the fences etc. The deep red / orange of the flowers provides a very welcome drift of colour at this time of year.
It is still a nice place to sit for a quiet moment but with a hot chocolate rather than a cold beer.

We were both so pleased with the containers this year, especially as they were cobbled together as a bit of an after thought. we will have to see what we can achieve next year.

Talking of next year our mini green house has cuttings seedlings and a couple of lifted plants all taking shelter and waiting for spring.

The Mother plants of some of the cuttings. They still looking happy and are still flowering at the end of November.

Both the honeysuckle and Jasmine have done wonders this year after such radical pruning last February.


I will leave you with the bravest of our brave Streptocarpus 'denim'.
As you know we nearly lost the whole collection this summer and they still look a little sad.
They should perk up in the Spring and in the mean time are still giving us a few jolly flowers from time to time.

Keep posted.

Friday, 25 November 2011

Random jottings - Old London - markets

One of my ongoing projects at the moment is reading Daniel Defoe's Tour of London while cross-referencing it on the net.

I am reading a photographed copy of the original book which is fun but heavy weather. here is a link to an easier to read version
click here
At present I am in the process of looking up his list of flesh markets - that is meat markets to you and me not brothels by the way.

Here is Smithfield Market, described by Defoe as "without question the greatest market in the world for flesh and livestock."

Meat has been traded at Smithfield Market for over 800 years. By the middle of the 19th century however, in the course of a single year 220,000 head of cattle and 1,500,000 sheep would be "violently forced into an area of five acres, in the very heart of London.

An Act of Parliament was passed in 1852, a new cattle-market was to be constructed in Copenhagen Fields, Islington. The new Metropolitan Cattle Market opened in 1855. The new Smithfields Meat and poultry market was completed in November 1868 at a cost of £993,816 (£66 million today). 

It might take me a little while to research some of the many London markets. This is as far as I have got so far.

Newgate Market:

The site is now Paternoster Square.

Spitalfields Market:

There has been a market on this site since 1638 when Charles I gave a licence for flesh, fowl and roots to be sold on Spittle Fields - which was then a rural area.

After the rights to a market had seemingly lapsed during the time of the Commonwealth, Spitalifields Market was refounded in 1682 by Charles II.

Whitechapel Market:

Leadenhall Market:

Leadenhall Market dates back to the 14th century, 600 years ago when a former Lord Mayor of London(Richard ‘Dick’ Whittington) gifted Leadenhall to the City in 1411.

The Poultry Market remained until the 20th century, by which time all shop units were let for the sale of meat, fish or provisions. By the mid 20th century the shops were also being used for general retailing and leisure and by the end of the century Leadenhall Market was a shopping centre.

Fleet Market:
The Fleet Market was a market erected in 1736 on the newly culverted River Fleet. The market was located approximately where the modern Farringdon Street stands today, to the west of the Smithfield livestock market.

By 1829, the market was dilapidated and considered an obstacle to the increasing volume of traffic; and was cleared for the construction of Farringdon Road. Farringdon Market was constructed to replace it, but was never successful.

If anyone knows of, or has photos of the following meat and livestock markets I would be very interested:-

Honey Lane Market
Clare Market
Westminster Market
The Brook Field Market near Mayfair
St James's Market
Carnaby Market

Lots more markets to come. 
keep posted

Sunday, 30 October 2011

The Gardens of Delargo Towers - October

Well then me dears;
Nights are drawing in, theres a slight chill to the evening, Summer is coming to an end
Here at Delargo Towers we are looking and feeling a little old and shabby but the Cosmos that has served us so well this year is still hanging on

The Nasturtiums have gone crazy but at least they are green and the strong colour of the flowers is quite welcome at this time of year. We will be more careful with them next year, though.

 Hollyhocks and Lupins for next year.
The window boxes are in urgent need of a good sort out.

 Campanula for next year
 The Black-Eyed Susan is doing well
 Yes we did actualy get a crop of toms from the poor little plant Alistair rescued from his office
 We just made the R H S Autumn show before it closed this year and aquired two new Streptocarpus, Ruby and Targa. They were covered in flower when we bought them ( from the display stand ) but dropped there flowers almost immediately and have looked very sickly ever since.

Its time to batten down the hatches and have a good clear up before the winter really sets in.

I am not looking forward to the dark cold and damp with just a seed catologue to keep me warm.
Hey Ho
We will see what November has in store,


Sunday, 23 October 2011

My kind of Diva - Line Renaud

I thought a "My kind of Diva" post was well overdue, so to make amends here we go with the wonderful Line Renaud!

A true Mademoiselle from Armentières, Line Renaud began life as Jacqueline Enté in Pont-de-Nieppe on 2 July 1928. As far as I can tell, the only famous person ever to come from there.

Situated by the Belgian border, it is 42 km southeast of Dunkerque or Dunkirk. The only places of interest are Château de Nieppe (a rather dull looking country house not a castle) and the cemeteries of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

Not the most promising of beginnings for a Diva, but  from the midst of northern France Line Renaud went on to conquer Paris and bathe in the glittering lights of Las Vegas.

Never what you would call a great looker, and with what was thought of as a common, Northern, working class accent, she made it to the top with sheer talent and has stayed at the top right up till today.
Lets see her in action.

She made her national debut on Radio Luxembourg, singing on a Sunday morning programme.
A contract with Pathe Marconi was followed by her recording of "Ma Cabane au Canada", written by Loulou Gasté, which won le Grand Prix du Disque.

She also sang with Yves Montand and recorded with Dean Martin.
Whilst performing at Moulin Rouge she met Bob Hope and consequently appeared in five episodes of The Bob Hope Show.

Line Renaud performed at the Waldorf Astoria, the Coconut Grove and in a Las Vegas show.
She helped save the  Casino de Paris, when it was threatened with closing, by putting on a show called "Paris – Line" with Loulou Gasté, which ran for four years.

Line Renaud Plaisirs 1959

Line also found time to clock up 23 films (58 if you include TV movies) between 1946 and 2008.

In 1950, she married "Loulou" Gasté and stayed with him until his death in 1995. One of the great marriages of all time. She was 16 when she met  her song writer hero (b. Luis Gasté) -  he was 37.
"Loulou" become her mentor, changing her image and her name to Renaud - her mother's maiden name.

Here is the lucky man inbetween Line Renaud and Dalida:

and the truly wonderful birthday tribute to Aznavour follows next.
If this does not bring a lump to your throat then nothing ever could!

Still working and recording and filming, Line Renaud also found time in 1985, to create  "l'Association des Artistes Contre le Sida", and organised televised art events to raise funds for helping AIDS research in France. In 1989 she put on a one-off show which retraced her forty year career.

In 2009, she used her position as Vice-President of Sidaction to condemn the statements of Pope Benedict XVI, who claimed that condoms promote AIDS.

I will leave you with her singing a track from her last album Rue Washington published in 2010